(Bloomberg) -- Dealmakers racing to get transactions across the line before the holidays have finalized nearly $70 billion of mergers and acquisitions this week. 

Biotech giant Amgen Inc. is leading the flurry of transactions, saying Monday it will buy Horizon Therapeutics Plc for $28 billion in the year’s biggest health-care deal to add drugs for rare disorders. Thoma Bravo announced a takeover of business-spend management platform Coupa Software Inc. for $8 billion including debt, confirming a Bloomberg News report.

Novozymes A/S said it will acquire fellow enzyme maker Chr. Hansen Holding A/S for about $12 billion in the largest-ever combination of two Danish companies. Microsoft Corp. is buying a $2 billion stake in London Stock Exchange Group Plc, while Cie. de Saint-Gobain agreed to sell UK building supplies merchant Jewson to an arm of CVC Capital Partners in a £740 million ($909 million) deal. 

Other acquisitions already announced since Sunday take this week’s volume to almost $70 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The tally could grow further if more transactions are revealed during the US day. 

Financing Power

The flurry of late activity is a bright spot in an otherwise difficult year, with global deals down by almost a third and Wall Street firms cutting bonuses and headcount.

“There is no hiding from the fact that deal activity has been challenging in 2022,” said Andrea Guerzoni, EY’s global vice chair of strategy and transactions. “There have been some bright spots, however, such as the ongoing activity in the life sciences sector where we continue to see cash-rich giant companies acquiring smaller targets at earlier stages of innovative drug or device development.”


Goldman Sachs Group Inc., perennially the No. 1 M&A adviser, remained in top form with roles on two of the three biggest transactions announced Monday. It was one of Thoma Bravo’s advisers on the Coupa acquisition (alongside Piper Sandler Cos.) as well as exclusive adviser to Chr. Hansen on the sale to Novozymes. 

Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are getting out their checkbooks, leading a $28.5 billion bridge financing for Amgen’s Horizon deal. The same pair of banks teamed up earlier this year to offer around $16 billion of loans to fund Philip Morris International Inc.’s takeover of Swedish Match AB, Bloomberg News has reported.

Potential Rebound 

Boutique banks were also giving Wall Street stalwarts a run for their money. Qatalyst Partners, which was founded by Frank Quattrone and is known for helping tech companies sell for top dollar, was financial adviser to Coupa. Former Goldman rainmaker Gordon Dyal’s eponymous shop was lead adviser to Novozymes. PJT Partners Inc. was the main buyside bank steering Amgen’s pursuit of Horizon. 

The question on bankers’ minds will be whether the scramble will be enough to push this year’s M&A volumes past the key $4 trillion mark. For companies fond of announcing deals at the start of the week, they’ll only be one more opportunity to do so after today, as the last Monday of 2022 falls the day after Christmas.

Many CEOs are still taking a “wait-and-see” approach given the uncertain outlook, according to EY’s Guerzoni. Dealmaking could begin to pick up again in the new year if asset pricing becomes more balanced, he said. 

“We can’t ignore the fact the global macroeconomic environment continues to look difficult, with rising interest rates, ongoing geopolitical tensions and the threat of a recession looming large,” Guerzoni said. “That will deter some dealmakers—although others will see it as an opportunity.”

--With assistance from Liana Baker.

(Updates with quotes from adviser in paragraphs 6, 11-12)

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